Opinion: Dance fever

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

Get your mooches up, people! Football is winding down, but competitive dance is just getting started. Woot, woot! Yes, it’s true. I’ve reached the point in every dance mom’s life when she actually looks forward to the dressing-room drama, the bedazzled bootie shorts and the cringe-worthy cacophony of hundreds of tween-agers yelling, “Ya-ah, Kayla!”

While trapped in a parking garage this morning (literally), I pondered my unbelievable metamorphosis. I’m not particularly girly, nor did I grow up in a world of jazz hands and faux Kardashian lashes. I’d always dreamed of watching my kids from the basketball stands or natatorium seats, or even the freezing soccer sidelines. Never, at least until four years ago, had I imagined I’d happily be packing Dream Duffels full of sequenced costumes, make-up remover, fishnet tights and bun makers, and heading off to local hotels for 36-48 hours of dance competition (nor that I’d be stuck underground at 7:15 a.m.!).

In truth, my first year of wading through contemporary marshland with my youngest daughter was almost my last. The time, the money, the stupid judges … and all for watching my precious little angel on stage for maybe seven minutes, total. I could barely handle it. But she clearly has a passion for this, and I could easily see that behind the occasional tears and forgotten bling earrings, she was learning how to persevere under pressure (much like me as I analyzed my escape options).

I’ve also learned to squash my sometimes critical but always competitive nature and focus instead on how much fun she is having and the wonderful friendships she is making. And with the right attitude, Netflix and a pair of high-quality ear plugs, the weekends can be rather pleasurable (even when I seriously cannot get out of this stupid garage!).

So get ready for some unbelievable tales of tacky parenting and outrageous toddlers, my friends, for rarely does a dance season disappoint. I promise to deliver the juice, freshly squeezed, as I dive headfirst into the crazy (right after I solve this absurd parking predicament, that is). Peace out.

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